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5 Reasons to Hope for Rain on Your Next Visit to Cannon Beach

Oregon natives know that just because rain clouds are in the forecast, that’s no excuse not to enjoy the spectacular beauty and unique attractions of Cannon Beach. To us, rain is not something to be avoided, it’s just a part of what makes this coastal town and its surroundings magical and in actuality there are some remarkable Oregon Coast experiences that only a rainy day can offer. If you visit even when the forecast calls for rain, you may find yourself discovering a whole new list of reasons to love it here. These are our favorite rainy-day experiences, both outdoors and indoors in Cannon Beach that may have you hoping for a little precipitation on your next visit:

#1 Let Dramatic Skies Blow You Away  

One of the absolute best ways to experience our nearby beaches is on a gray day. That’s right, we literally just told you to go play in the rain. If you don’t, you’ll miss the amazing storm clouds and dazzling rainbows that only appear on those moody days. And if you’ve never seen the sun break through the clouds in Cannon Beach on a stormy day, you just may be missing one of the most spectacular displays around. Additionally, stormy weather often means big waves that thunder against near shore rocks and churn into swirling foam as they crash onto shore. (Please use caution caution and common sense when visiting our beaches, as conditions can change quickly and without warning, especially on stormy days.)

#2 The Rainforest is Perfect for a Rainy Day

The forests surrounding Cannon Beach are like something out of a fairy tale and if you’ve only explored them on dry, sunny days, then you may be missing the point. The beauty of a fine rain slowly filtering through towering evergreens and into the lush undergrowth is an experience that shouldn’t be missed. Streams swell with rainwater, tumbling through rocky creek beds and over glistening rocks in dozens of little waterfalls. Water droplets give off prismatic light on every surface from the dangling tree mosses to the dense, curling sword ferns covering the forest floor. During sun breaks, the light bursts through the mist in perfect sunbeams through the trees illuminating every shade of green you could possibly imagine. And the evocative smell of fresh rain and damp earth beckon you in from the moment you step onto the trail into the protective cover of the trees. They don’t call them rainforests because they exist in a dry climate, after all. You'll find miles of trails through stunning forests in both Ecola State Park at the north end of town and Oswald West State Park about 10 minutes south of Cannon Beach.

#3 Tour the Oregon Coast’s Best Art Galleries

Believe it or not, every now and then, even we locals like to get indoors on the wettest of days. One of the best ways to pass the time during a heavy shower is by stepping into some of our amazing art galleries. Possibly the warmest spot in midtown, Icefire Gallery always keeps the fire going to shape molten glass into shimmering works of art that seem to emit a light all their own. Downtown, award-winning paintings at Jeffrey Hull Gallery invite you into otherworldly Oregon Coast landscapes where the weather may actually be more stormy than the weather you left outside. In other galleries, you’ll find stunning bronze animals inviting you to frolic alongside them, eclectic sculptures that inspire the imagination and print work featuring towering trees and curling waves. Step inside and you’ll soon see why we’re known as one of the Top Art Towns in America.

#4 Dive into Our Local Shopping Scene  

Packed within a few blocks in our compact town, you’ll find some of the most exceptional shopping opportunities on the Oregon Coast. Upscale cottage décor warms up two stories of shopping bliss at Sesame + Lilies; and classic; contemporary literary works line the walls of the browsers’ haven that is Cannon Beach Book Company and delectable saltwater taffy and handmade sweets from fourth-generation candy makers overflow colorful displays at Bruce’s Candy Kitchen. And if you didn’t make it to Cannon Beach with your rain gear, you’ll find layers of warmth in shops around town including puffy coats, vests and rugged waterproof layers at Cleanline Surf; designer rain jackets and boots in (quite literally!) a rainbow of colors at Rachelle M. Rustic House of Fashion; and high fashion sweaters, scarves and coats at B. Boutique and Dena’s Shop on the Corner.

#5 Warm Up with a Taste of Our Culinary Culture

Step inside a number of spots around town and you’ll find some delicious ways to warm yourself up from the inside out. A toasty cup of perfectly crafted java is the quintessential Northwest way to warm up on a chilly day and Cannon Beach has several shops that elevate coffee in fun and frothy ways. Check out tiny Sea Level Bakery if you find yourself at the south end of town, local coffee roaster and Cannon Beach institution Sleepy Monk Coffee if you’re in midtown or art-filled Insomnia Coffee in downtown. If you’re looking to warmup via some of the Oregon Coast’s best chowders, you’ll find it brimming in toasty bread bowls at local favorites like The Driftwood Restaurant & Lounge or Ecola Seafoods, as well as in spots like Seasons Café where the take on chowder is a little less traditional (but every bit as tasty!) and you’ll find other bowls of warmth including a rotating soup du jour that might just tempt you away from your chowder craving. You can also warm up courtesy of decadent hot chocolate at Cannon Beach Chocolate Café or a remarkable selection of whiskey flights at MacGregor’s Restaurant & Whiskey Bar.

Pro Tip from the Locals

As locals, we know that to truly enjoy everything a rainy day in Cannon Beach has to offer, you’ll need the right clothing. Fortunately, a break-through technology exists that will allow you get out and enjoy our beautiful area in any weather: it’s called a raincoat. Add waterproof footwear and rain pants and you’ll be prepared to enjoy anything Mother Nature delivers. Don’t let a little rain prevent you from enjoying all the scenic beauty of a stormy day in Cannon Beach!